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Sport clubs' health promotion activities for the surrounging communities : a comparative case study of Columbus Blue Jackets, HJK and Sotkamon Jymy
ABSTRACT The level of physical activity continues to decrease globally. Therefore it is important to explore new ways of promoting physical activity and healthy life style. Sport clubs are an excellent setting for physical activity and health related programs targeted for the surrounding community due to their visibility, popularity and image. They offer also companies a possibility to conduct their health related corporate social responsibility activities by supporting and cooperating with the club. Despite its importance there are not many studies related to the role of sport clubs as health promoters. The aim of this research is to explore what kind of health promotion activities sport clubs have in order to activate people in the surrounding community towards healthier and more physically active lifestyle and how they use these activities for commercial purposes. This research includes a comparative case study of three elite case study clubs representing different countries and sports: Columbus Blue Jackets (USA, ice hockey), HJK (FIN, football) and Sotkamon Jymy (FIN, Finnish baseball). It also highlights the differences and similarities these sport clubs have regarding their health promotion activities. The data for this qualitative study was collected by structured email interviews taking place in April 2014. The results revealed that sport clubs have already realized their important role in community level health promotion and have started to plan and execute health promotion campaigns in cooperation with other stakeholders. While children seem to remain the number one target group also company sector was perceived as an important target group mostly for the financial reasons. Health promotion activities were perceived particularly important concerning also future operations. Some differences were found between case study clubs which were mostly due to their different sizes and financial resources. Key words: sport club, health promotion, setting-based health promotion, cause related marketing, corporate social responsibility. ...
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